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Computer Usage Policy

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Gwynedd Mercy University Computer Usage Policy

Overview:

The technology facilities at Gwynedd Mercy University are provided to assist students, faculty, administration and staff in the pursuit, collection, and presentation of academic information. Because these facilities are the property of Gwynedd Mercy University, their operation by individuals associated with the University must be in accordance with College computer use policy, governed by secure and private practices and should be guided by the mission and values of the institution. The computer systems, computer hardware, computer software, communications equipment, technology space and information contained within are the property of Gwynedd Mercy University. Anyone who uses College technology resources must read, understand and agree to this policy.

Definitions:

  • Technology is defined as computers, systems, applications, personal digital assistants, laptops, notebooks, workstations or any messaging or electronic communications system, or any system that depends on or uses electronic communication for the purposes of communicating, broadcasting, publishing, messaging, printing, recording, viewing, reading, streaming, transmitting, any information or form of communication, media, data or message. These types of communication include but are not limited to electronic mail, voice mail, telephone systems, networks, global positioning systems and radio devices.

  • Technology users are defined as any Gwynedd Mercy University student, faculty, staff, and administration, authorized individuals performing work for any affiliates such as departments, institutive, centers or any other associated organizations or individuals that in some way represent Gwynedd Mercy University.

  • Resources are anything defined in section a of definitions including storage, network, printers, all peripheral devices, technology spaces on or near main campus or satellite campuses. Resources not governed by this policy include computers, systems, devices or any other technology that is personally owned by technology users.

  • Infrastructure is defined as the University network, telephone system or telecommunication devices, copper and fiber cabling, wireless communications and devices, equipment closets, data centers,  and any computers or systems the University is connected to such as the Internet or systems of any other organization or institution.

The following types of behavior and actions are expressly prohibited:

1. Engaging in conduct that obstructs or disrupts institutional activities and the individual pursuit of teaching and learning. In terms of E-Mail, this specifically means intentionally reading, or attempting to read, other people's E-Mail without their authorization. In terms of the Internet, this specifically means intentionally trying to gain access to a system for which you are not authorized; or having gained access, inflicting damage (including but not limited to altering records or sabotage) on the system, and/or degrading its performance (through any mechanism).

2. You are prohibited from disclosing your password for any and all systems. You must safeguard your accounts and all content and you will be responsible for any misuse. You may not search for, access, copy, or use passwords belonging to other people. Accessing or assisting others to access another person’s account, or allowing others to use your account to access, download, view, modify or manipulate data, files, network, and information is prohibited. Accounts cannot be transferred to or used by other individuals other than the account owner. Sharing accounts is absolutely not permitted. You may not use Resources to misrepresent yourself as another individual ("spoofing"). If you are a victim of such misrepresentation, you must immediately upon discovery of the incident report the incident to Institutional Technology Services at extension 444.

3. Engaging in or taking any intentional action which causes interference to the network, the work of others or any computer on Gwynedd-Mercy College's Local Area Network or the Internet. You may not use resources in such a way as to, unduly impede, interfere with or otherwise cause harm to others or their activities or create or constitute an unacceptable burden on resources. Examples of such prohibited use include: activity that creates excessive network traffic or computing; misusing mailing lists; distributing “chain letters;” mail bombing (flooding an individual, group or system with unacceptably numerous or large e-mail messages); intentionally spreading hoaxes regarding a computer virus, worm or similar threat; creating telnet or file transfer sessions of excessive number or duration; registering custom domain names; maintaining unregistered or otherwise unauthorized servers; using excessive network bandwidth, engaging in distributed processing and creating unacceptably large files. You may not use Resources to send, forward, or otherwise disseminate nuisance messages. Nuisance messages include, without limitation, knowing or reckless distribution of unwanted messages, messages that would constitute a violation of the University’s sexual harassment policy and messages to a recipient who has previously notified you that any messages (or messages of a particular type) from you are not welcome.

4. Using the Network in "for-profit" activities, unless such activities are directly related to Gwynedd-Mercy College employment or College course work is prohibited. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by either the President, Director of Institutional Technology Services, Vice President for Finance and Administration or the Vice President for Academic Affairs, upon written request. Portions of the Internet (such as the NSFNet backbone) define "acceptable uses" to specifically prohibit advertising and "for-profit" activities. These prohibitions will apply to "broadcast" communications (such as E-Mail responses to List-Servers, Newsgroups, etc.).

5. Involvement in violation of or conviction of violation of federal, state, or local regulations having to do with computers, communication, interstate commerce, and/or security regulations is prohibited. This also applies to violation of federal copyright, trade secret, and related laws.

6. The intentional creation or dissemination of a computer virus, tapeworm, Trojan horse, or other similar program, or dissemination of a communication under the name of an account for which you do not have permission is strictly prohibited.

7. Threat, harassment (including but not limited to sexual harassment), discrimination or libel towards any student, employee, guest, or remote computer user in an E-Mail message, File Transfer, or other communication. Note: Instances of harassment by e-mail which involve malicious intent toward the race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability of any other person shall constitute verbal harassment which may violate the mission of the University and the University code of conduct.

8. Sending sexually oriented E-mail messages or sending or receiving sexually oriented images, viewing non-work related websites or receiving or sending file transfers other than those with legitimate academic purpose is prohibited.

9. All users must comply with the Gwynedd Mercy University security and privacy policy. . Privacy cannot be guaranteed because the Internet is not secure. the University may be required to comply with a lawful order to provide information, and this can include e-mail and/or other communications. Routine system administration, including network supervision, administration, and monitoring, may divulge information and cause system unavailability. Additionally, the University may, but is not required to, back-up data. Therefore, even deleted information may be accessible. If you forget to logout from the network, your communication may be available to the next person to use the PC.

Additional Policy Statements

All technology users are bound to this policy. Non-compliant users are subject to the following actions.

  • Suspension or revocation of your computer account and other computer related privileges.

  • Disciplinary action described in the student handbook (copies available form Student Services Office). Students violating this policy will be subject to the procedures summarized in the "Implementing the Code of Conduct" section of the Student Handbook and sanctions may include loss of computing privileges.

  • Disciplinary procedures under the relevant policies for faculty, staff and students and/or civil or criminal prosecution under federal or state law. Penalties under these laws include fines, orders of restitution and imprisonment. Employees violating this policy will be subject to the corrective action policies as stipulated in their respective Employment Handbook.

  • Gwynedd Mercy University reserves the right to hold you financially liable if, through negligence or deliberate action, Resources are compromised in any way by you or someone using your account.